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ARC Resources plead guilty to charge laid by the AER  

CALGARY, AB, June 19, 2023 – ARC Resources Ltd., has pled guilty in provincial court to a charge laid against them by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) in December 2022.

The charge is related to the discharge of produced water contrary to section 109(2) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, at or near Drayton Valley, Alberta between December 9, 2020, and December 25, 2020.

The Court has ordered ARC to pay a $225 000 penalty, of which, $223 000 will go to the AER creative sentencing project, and the remaining $2000 will go to the Alberta Court of Justice as a fine.

The creative sentencing projects will occur within the Modeste sub-watershed of the North Saskatchewan River and/or the counties of Brazeau, Clearwater, Leduc, Parkland, and Wetaskiwin. Projects must demonstrate benefits to wetlands and surrounding ecosystems. This includes improvement to wetland complexes increasing biodiversity, and benefitting wildlife classified as at risk, threatened or endangered.

The AER will publish one or more requests for proposals using established Government of Alberta practices and oversee the creative sentencing project on behalf of the Alberta Court of Justice. For more information on creative sentencing, please see the story, Laying Down the Law in the Oilpatch on

In December 2020, ARC was operating a water line on private land within a pipeline right of way approximately five kilometres west of Drayton Valley. On December 25, a release of produced water from the water line was reported to the Alberta EDGE (Environmental and Dangerous Goods Emergencies) contact centre by the landowner. Released fluids were observed accumulating at the surface and flowing overland into an unnamed creek located east of the release. The produced water released from the water line contained mainly salt water and trace amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons.

The water line was immediately shut-in, ARC's emergency response plan was activated, and the AER was notified. The release was initially estimated to be 400 m3, which was subsequently revised to approximately 5000 m3, however the exact duration and volume of the release is unknown. The duration of the release is believed to have spanned one to two weeks.

Visit the AER Compliance Dashboard to see the Agreed Statement of Facts. For more information on AER’s investigation enforcement processes please see the Investigations page on

About the Alberta Energy Regulator

The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of energy resources in Alberta through our regulatory activities. For more information visit